Historic Blindness

August 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Americans will not acknowledge their history. The United States is guilty of two great crimes against humanity: The virtual genocide of Native Americans. And the centuries of abominable chattel slavery. (On a much lesser scale are the destructive, useless Vietnam and Iraq wars). Thousands of Africans died battling slavers. More died as they were branded and kept in African captivity as they awaited “the middle journey.” Thousands more died as they were locked below decks in unspeakable conditions. And, then there was slavery. Lee and the other “heroes” of the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery. The confederate flag is as much a symbol of murderous inhumanity as the swastika. Any African-American seeing Confederate flags and Confederate statues would have the same feelings as a Jew gazing at a swastika or a Hitler statue. Yes, Germany is not perfect. But, it has acknowledged its modern history. Statues of Hitler cannot be found in that land. Back here, in the temporarily land of the brave and free, Der Trumperer is concerned that tearing down racist statues will mar the beauty of cities.

Alt Left?

August 16th, 2017 § 4 comments § permalink

So, the piece of garbage that calls itself POTUS believes that those who battle violent Nazis are members of the”alt left.” That means the millions of Americans who fought the Nazis, violently and to the death, during WWII were members of the “alt left.” As was the French resistance and all other resistance / partisan groups during World War Two. My late father-in-law, Roy Kent, an RCAF bomber pilot, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and many other decorations for his exploits against the Nazis, would be startled. When he arrived in Britain his aerial skills were recognized and it was suggested that he be a trainer. His reply: “I didn’t travel 4,000 miles to be a teacher. I came here to kill Nazis.” He demanded bomber raids he would pilot even though the base log book indicated that no bomber crew had ever survived their tour of duty. A true member of the “alt left. (He’s on the right in this wartime London photo. His younger brother, Eric, who spent seven years as an artilleryman, is on the left.).

Vile Trump

August 13th, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

There is no limit to the sheer piggishness of Der Trumperer. The latest, of course, is his equating violent Nazi haters of African-Americans, Jews and immigrants with those who protest their actions. It’s like that old joke about equal coverage by TV news. First there is footage of hundreds of dead Jews who perished in the Auschwitz gas chambers. Then the newscaster says: “And now for the Nazi point of view..”

Roadies

June 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Like the Willie Nelson tune, HG/BSK are “On The Road Again.” Destination: Prince Edward Island Island and HG/BSK’s oceanfront home. It will be a delight to be back in Canada, a democracy with an enlightened leader. First stop on the trip was Amarillo, Texas, and Tyler’s BBQ for splendid sliced brisket, dry rubbed ribs, pulled pork, cole slaw, beans and pickles. Lots of icy pink lemonade. Tyler’s is a visit to down home America, warm, honest and tasty. Next leg of trip was to St. Louis and then on to Youngstown, Ohio. Stayed in two La Quintas and a Holiday Express, all dog friendly and welcoming for Toby, The Wonder Dog, HG/BSK’s travel companion. Yes, America has some frightening flaws but two things the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave does superlatively: Tyler’s Barbecue. Chain motels. (Great beds, TV,sparkling bathrooms, free wi-fi, plenty of hot water and ice, efficient toilets,free breakfast, modest prices). Had to make time so didn’t stop at eateries like Sawadee Thai in Rolla, Mo. or Shapiro’s Jewish Deli, Indianapolis. Opted for quick meals at Waffle House. No complaints. Big bowls of buttery grits with perfect poached eggs; softly scrambled eggs with onion topped home fries. Waffles, of course. Reminded HG of artist Saul Steinberg’s advice: “If you want to eat well in the midwest of the USA, eat breakfast three times a day.” Arrived at the Riva home in Riverside, R.I., after a struggle with Connecticut Friday night traffic jams. Brilliant (and beautiful) granddaughter Arianna was there to welcome the hungry duo with San Daniele prosciutto, crisp bread sticks, bowls of steaming chicken broth with tortellini. Warm and comforting finale to the days on the road.

Nifty Neighbors

May 29th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Among the blessings of HG/BSK’s life in New Mexico are the neighbors that surround HG/BSK. Film producers, historians, poets, artists, scientists, theater folk, etc.. All lovers of life, food and wine. HG/BSK had a splendid dinner with Fred (a scientist and Yachtsman) and Mary (a teacher and authority on theater arts). Appetizer was Marcona almonds and fresh radishes with coarse salt (HG knocked off much icy vodka). Dinner featured pan broiled lamb chops, a warm Middle Eastern puree of garbanzos, broiled tomatoes. Good red wine. Dessert was Mary’s Mom’s bread pudding custard. A wow. Later in the week had an unusual dinner with Karen K. (film producer) and David F. (historian/novelist/educator). Karen posed the question: “Why not have great breakfast food for dinner?” Her response was a dinner of blueberry waffles, plain waffles, rashers of thick cut bacon, New Hampshire maple syrup. All washed down with champagne and orange juice Mimosas. HG/BSK doggybagged some blueberry and plain waffles. Topped the plain waffles with poached eggs for breakfast and finished with blueberry waffles and blueberry jam. Morning joy. HG/BSK’s next door neighbors are Garry and Natasha G. Their acreage produces the best organic vegetables in New Mexico, There is always a long line at Mister G’s, their stand at the Santa Fe Farmers market. All is sold out in a flash. BSK managed to procure a few small heads of escarole that were picked that morning. That night BSK produced a pot of escarole cooked with chicken broth, onions, garlic, parsley, olive oil, red chile flakes. Crisp bacon was added plus lots of grated parmesan. Mister G’s escarole made a big difference. BSK’s kitchen wizardry gave the escarole a savory crunch.

Take That, Bluto!

May 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Spring is in fully flower filled glory in New Mexico and BSK is treating HG to perfectly steamed, plump and juicy asparagus. Alas, asparagus is not always in season. Thus, in BSK’s perpetual emphasis on healthy eating, BSK often turns to spinach. No, not any spinach. Baby spinach is BSK’s choice. Provides the perfect bedding for steamed sole or flounder. It is an essential ingredient in BSK’s comforting stracciatella (See HG post on this subject). The green is a lovely complement for BSK’s glorious paillards of chicken thighs drenched in a butter, olive oil, lemon and caper sauce. When HG was a little fellow, HG despised spinach. HG’s late Mom tricked HG into eating the hated stuff. “Hitten treshes” she would announce in her rich Yiddish accent. She was describing “hidden treasures”, a dish she learned about from a radio program. Mom would mash and whip boiled potatoes and chicken fat (Nu? What else?). Mom would make plump spheroids of the spuds and stuff them with spinach. Dusted them with kosher salt and black pepper. Little HG would wolf them down. It would never have occurred to HG’s beloved Mom that the abundance of chicken fat might negate the health benefits of the spinach. (In case you younger HG followers don’t understand the headline, permit HG to clarify. Bluto was a nasty villain in the Popeye movie cartoons and comic strip. He would attack poor Olive Oil, Popeye’s girl friend, after buffeting Popeye. Our hero would then swallow a bowl of spinach. Thus energized, he would beat the hell out that big brute, Bluto. The message was clear: Eat your spinach, kids.)

American Fascism? Has it Arrived?

May 13th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Dark, dark days. Obviously, Der Trumperer and his spineless Republican minions will do their utmost to cover up Der Trumperer’s collusion with Russia before and after the election. HG’s grim prediction: Der Trumperer will cement his relationship with Putin in order to give Russian hackers a free hand to influence the coming elections. Is this the end of the American democracy ? Possibly. Been reading Gore Vidal’s essays and memoirs. His view of the future of, as he called it, “Imperial America”, seem ever more prescient.

Quirky Grocers

April 11th, 2017 § 2 comments § permalink

The Santa Fe grocers are quirky. Products appear and disappear. Staples change location as the grocers are always remodeling. HG was delighted when Trader Joe’s began displaying excellent canned Indian food (paneer and spinach was a big winner as was dal). Suddenly disappeared. When HG inquired, the manager replied that they were so popular that customers stocked up with dozens of cans. Had no idea if those good things would ever reappear. TJ’s bone-in, Frenched pork chops appeared on HG /BSK’s dinner plates frequently. Gone from TJ’s meat section. Whole Foods could always be relied upon for preserved lemons, an essential in BSK’s Moroccan tagines. No more. Gone. Fresh herbs (except for cilantro) can no longer be found at Pojoaque Super Market. Fortunately, it seems as one product disappears, a new delicious treat will take its place (for a time!).

Our Christian Nation?

March 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

“VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, IN AS MUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.” Well, the “least” of our brethren– the old, the poor, school children–are being bludgeoned by Der Trumperer’s militarist budget and a health care plan that gives big tax breaks to the rich and deprives 24,000,000 Americans of health insurance. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said “after school programs don’t show results.” So, no more funding. He proposed cuts in the programs that provide nutrition to the aged. And that includes the “Meals on Wheels” program which, incidentally, keeps my aged, infirm mother in law and her husband alive. All of this seems to contradict Christian values as espoused by the dizzying variety of Christian institutions (plus the numerous sects). Isn’t it time for all Christians to protest? Or, has Jesus Christ been re-characterized as a left wing Jewish agitator? Mulvaney demands that programs “show results.” Well, American Christianity can’t prove beneficial results: Sin continues to flourish with no end in sight. Like Der Trumperer’s wire tapping claims, no tangible evidence has been provided that heaven and hell exist. Given Mulvaney’s reasoning, shouldn’t government support of religion (in the form of massive tax breaks) be removed?

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Ominous Lookalikes

February 22nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

In 1942, Germany’s Der Fuhrer was given new powers by the dummy Reichstag. Der Fuhrer was given discretionary powers in the administration of justice. In other words, no judicial restraint. The Reichstag made it clear: “At present in Germany there are no rights, only duties.” Does this seem similar to Der Trumperer’s view that Der Trumperer can do anything in the name of national security without regard for constitutionality or judicial restraint? Joseph Goebbels commented on Der Fuhrer’s new powers: “The bourgeois era with its false and misleading notion of humaneness is over.” Lackeys Spicer and Kellyanne haven’t gone that far. Yet. Marie Vassiltchikov (who worked in the Nazi bureaucracy 1940-1945) commented in her “Berlin Diaries”: “If people only knew how inefficiently this whole machine works under the semblance of a well-oiled bureaucracy, they would be amazed.” Der Trumperer told a press conference recently in reply to questions about his administration’s stumbling: “We’re running like a fine tuned machine.” Indeed. Also, please tell me me how Der Trumperer’s craven rubber stamp Congress differs from Der Fuhrer’s Reichstag? As for Der Trumperer’s disgraceful omission of Jews from his Holocaust statement and very belated response to questions about the escalating attacks on Jews in the United States, this is a nod to Der Trumperer’s ardent supporters, the Alt-Right aka Nazis. Obviously, Bannon is working like a “fine tuned machine.”

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